2 Days Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks DE Cliff Avril is sitting out OTAs with plantar fascia in his foot.
Avril has been dealing with the issue for four weeks, but he's still a "couple weeks" away from taking part in on-field drills. Per coach Pete Carroll, Avril will "run some" this week. He'll then need time to rest the foot and "wait it out." Avril is expected to be the Hawks' starting "Leo" pass rusher in Week 1.
Round 1 of the 2013 NFL draft is in the books and the Individual Defensive Player (IDP) landscape has been shifted yet again as we look forward to next season. Positions of need have been addressed and the big name talents we have been evaluating and pontificating over for months are now finding their NFL homes.
Just where their fantasy value lies is yet to be truly determined as there are veterans who will not give their jobs up easily and rookie prospects that fade under the pressure of being in the big show.
Here is an initial quick-hitting look at the IDP prospects drafted in the first round and just what fantasy value they may hold heading into the 2013 season.
Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Miami: The Dolphins jumped up to the third overall pick to secure their bookend pass rushing threat opposite Cameron Wake. Jordan can also drop into coverage or be a pass rushing outside linebacker option when the Dolphins run their hybrid 3-4 defensive look.
Jordan may start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list (shoulder surgery) but will be ready to go for Week 1 and figures to log plenty of snaps as a rookie. He is a superb athlete with a burst off the edge that will enable him to rack up nice sack totals and has the sideline-to-sideline speed to also be effective in defending the run.
His designation will determine his fantasy value and it would suit IDP owners better if he is designated as a defensive end as his tackle totals as an outside linebacker may put a cap on his value.
Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah, DE, Detroit: The Lions stood pat at No. 5 and watched the big three offensive tackles go off the board before their selection. As a consolation prize, the freakishly athletic 6-foot-5, 271-pound Ansah will do just nicely, thank you.
Ansah fills an immediate need at the defensive end position with the loss of Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril as pass rushers. He is still a bit raw as a latecomer to football but his 62 tackles (13 for a loss) and 4� 1/2 sacks last season illustrate what Detroit sees in him. Pencil him in as a starter from Day 1 as a pass rushing specialist who is solid against the run along the defensive front for the Lions and a DL3 out of the gate.
Barkevious Mingo, OLB/DE, Cleveland: Mingo is an ideal fit for new defensive coordinator Ray Horton's defense and teams with the newly acquired Paul Kruger and Jabaal Sheard (unless the Browns deal him) to give the Browns three athletic, edge speed rushers.
He will assume an outside...
Three weeks from today everything shifts to the evaluation of this year's draft and what grades each team should receive. While it is too early to accurately grade any draft the day after its completion, it has always been done that way and, to the benefit of no one, will be done that way again.
In the meantime, we'll continue to evaluate the Individual Defensive Player (IDP) ramifications of free agency 2013 as it unfolds, and this week take a gander at the NFC North. Once a division dominated by intimidating defenses, the former "Black and Blue Division" potentially boasts three of the more proficient passing attacks heading into 2013.
While Aaron Rodgers, Matt Stafford and Jay Cutler figure to air it out plenty next season, the division has had more than its share of intriguing defensive free agency action.
It's interesting to note that while Detroit and Chicago have been restocking and retooling thus far in free agency, the two teams that made the playoffs in 2012, Minnesota and Green Bay, have been very quiet.
DETROIT: The Lions made the most of their scheduled visits as they landed former Houston free safety Glover Quin and Seattle defensive lineman Jason Jones. Both players will have an immediate chance to contribute as they fill positions of need on the Detroit defense.
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz is familiar with Jones from their time together in Tennessee, and look for Detroit to utilize the 6-foot-5, 276-pound lineman at both end and tackle. He has 19 career sacks and has shown the ability to bring pressure from both the edge as well as from the interior when healthy. It's the staying healthy part of the equation that has held Jones back from reaching the potential he flashed early in his career.
Detroit must hope that the reunion with Schwartz will rejuvenate Jones and he will help to pick up some of the sacks and tackles that they lost with the departure of Kyle Vanden Bosch, Cliff Avril and Sammie Hill. For fantasy purposes, Jones is an interesting name to keep in mind as a player that can put up surprisingly good numbers providing he stays healthy. Jones is not worth drafting in IDP leagues but does warrant keeping an eye on in leagues that require the defensive tackle position as a waiver wire option.
Quin will step right in as the starting strong safety in Detroit alongside the returning Louis Delmas, who is slated to play free safety as of now. Wherever Quin ends up in the Lions secondary, fantasy owners can count on him to...
The first week of NFL free agency 2013 is nearly in the books, and there are Individual Defensive Player (IDP) fantasy ramifications aplenty. While the market value of a lot of the big name free agent defenders has been less than anticipated, the signings have been fast and furious.
Examining the fantasy implications of the signings to-date is still a very fluid situation as the exact positions that each player will line up at has yet to be determined. The NFL Draft in April will also muddy the waters as rookies will be in the mix to fill some starting roles that as of right now appear covered by some of the recent signings.
Offseason workouts and minicamps will help to clarify a lot of these situations, but until teams begin to actually convene and release depth charts, we can only surmise what fantasy value players may hold on their new teams.
For the sake of brevity and clarity, I felt it best to break down the analysis of the free agency effect on 2013 IDP fantasy landscape to one of examining a single division at a time.
Starting with the NFC West seems like a good idea, as there has already been a plethora of signings that are sure to shake up plenty of IDP leagues in 2013.
SEATTLE: The Seahawks don't always go out and sign free agent defensive ends, but when they do it's two of the biggest names on the market. There were concerns at the conclusion of the 2012 season that Seattle would have trouble replacing the sack production of defensive end Chris Clemons as he recovers from an ACL injury.
Those concerns are laid to rest as the Seahawks have brought on board Cliff Avril, formerly of the Detroit Lions, and emerging defensive end talent Michael Bennett from Tampa Bay. For those of you counting at home, they bring a combined total of 18 1/2 sacks accumulated last season.
Seattle can allow Clemons to take his time returning from injury and ensure he is 100 percent before hitting the field as Avril, Bennett and second-year pass rushing specialist Bruce Irvin get after the quarterback. The rich got richer and the Seahawks are serving notice to the league that their defense is going to be bringing consistent pressure from all sides.
Over the past three seasons, Avril has amassed 29 1/2 sacks with nine forced fumbles and one interception that he returned for a touchdown. While he has never surpassed more than 41 total tackles in a season, Avril is that nice IDP combination of sack and big play potential that adds up to above...
2 Months Seattle Seahawks
Updating a previous item, Cliff Avril's two-year deal with the Seahawks is worth just $13 million in base value.
The defensive end-needy Lions surprisingly didn't exceed or match Seattle's offer after franchising Avril for over $10 million in 2012. A left defensive end in Detroit, Avril will play right end or "Leo" with the Seahawks. Seattle figures to open the season with a starting front four of Avril, Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, and either Michael Bennett or Clinton McDonald at "three-technique" tackle.
2 Months Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks GM John Schneider envisions Cliff Avril as capable of playing both "Leo" defensive end and 4-3 strong-side linebacker.
The "Leo" is Chris Clemons' position and typically aligns on the weak side of the formation, squaring off one-on-one with left tackles. K.J. Wright is Seattle's strong-side linebacker and isn't in danger of losing his job. Avril will likely be the Seahawks' Opening Day starter at Leo. Across 16 starts last season, Clemons amassed 40 tackles, 11.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles.
2 Months Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks agreed to terms with DE Cliff Avril on a multi-year contract.
That escalated quickly. Avril's market had been dead quiet to this point, but the Seahawks came out of nowhere to snap him up. Avril turns 27 in April. He has 29 sacks and nine forced fumbles over the last three seasons. Although some have attributed Avril's success to drawing single teams next to Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, Lions GM Martin Mayhew thought enough of Avril's edge-rush ability to pay him over $10 million in 2012 as Detroit's franchise player. In Seattle, Avril will add to the Seahawks' pass rush along with Bruce Irvin as Chris Clemons tries coming back from a torn ACL. Avril will be an immediate candidate for 9-12 sacks.